Changes to child maintenance

From December 2012 a new scheme was introduced for arranging child maintenance when parents separate and can not agree the financial support which should be provided. Initially the new scheme only dealt with parents with 4 or more children.

As from 29 July 2013 the application of the scheme has been extended to include all new applications from parents:

  • With two or more children
  • Where at least two of the children have the same two parents
  • Where there has been no previous involvement with the Child Support Agency (CSA).

These cases will be dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). The main way that the new scheme differs is that the maintenance is calculated using gross income rather than net income. Details of gross income can be obtained by the CMS from HM Revenue and Customs.

The percentages applied to gross income to calculate the child maintenance differ depending on the level of income. For those with gross income of between £200 and £800 per month the percentages are as follows:

Number of children needing child maintenance % of gross weekly income payable
1 12%
2 16%
3 or more 19%

For those with income of between £800.01 and £3000 the percentages are as follows:

Number of children needing child maintenance % applied to the first £800 of gross weekly income % applied to gross weekly income over £800 (up to a limit of £3,000)
1 12% 9%
2 16% 12%
3 or more 19% 15%

Many parents can agree arrangements for child maintenance and in doing so may wish to apply the above calculation.

At Cartwright King we have a specialist team of family lawyers who can advise on child maintenance and any other family law issue. Please contact us on 0845 894 1622 for further assistance.

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For further information please get in touch with our dedicated team.

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